I am excited to tell you about a new book. Staying Power: Building a Stronger Marriage when Life Sends its Worst by Carol & Gene Kent and Cindy & David Lambert is coming out next week.
Two years ago at a writers retreat, I met Carol and Gene Kent. I had the opportunity not only to sit under Carol’s teaching, but to chat with both of them. When it comes to building a thriving marriage in the face of severe stress and grief, they have the great wisdom of lived experience.
When Carol, Gene, Cindy, and David put out a call to writers to share their stories of marriage pressured by circumstances for an upcoming project, I sent a submission. I am so honored to have contributed a section to this book. Recently, I read an advanced copy, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that this book is coming into the world. I will be recommending it all over the place, but especially to parents who are struggling with parenting a kid with mental illness.
This book is for couples experiencing the pressure of crisis that comes from outside the relationship.
“Too often, when a life crisis hits, a marriage suffers—even a healthy one—and all the personality profiles and couples’ therapy in the world won’t keep your marriage from experiencing the tough stuff. So how do you and your spouse face the stresses put on your marriage and not only stay together but come out on the other side even more loving and committed?”
Like any marriage, ours (Kirsten and Dan) has its strengths and weaknesses, good periods and bad. But during the crisis of our son’s three long years to stability, our personal flaws and besetting sins crashed into each other with devastating effect. My ill health, creeping depression, and feelings of failure brought out, not compassion in Dan, but darker reaction. He has a sometimes debilitating desire to do things right, to be right, to be acceptable. My suffering signaled to him that he was screwing up, doing things wrong, or else why would his wife be unhappy? His automatic response was to withdraw, to defend himself, to do nothing so he couldn’t screw up. He left me floundering in quicksand where I had thought to find solid support. And I, ungentle with his weakness, railed at him and begged, feeding his response. It was a classic vicious cycle, and eventually I longed for a way out. But I was broken and blind to hope, so I looked for release rather than restoration.
We made our way through, with a lot of counseling, effort, and failures. I wish Staying Power had been given to us at the beginning of our crisis years. We could have prevented so much heartache by putting the principles of this book into action in our marriage. As it is, you can find some of our story of how God restored our marriage, as well as some of my best advice in Chapter Two.
“In Staying Power, two longtime couples offer insights, skills, and clear direction so that you can respond to trials in a way that strengthens rather than weakens your marriage. They show you how to
– handle anger creatively, forgive freely, and persevere together
– nurture one another in powerful ways
– learn new techniques for connecting both verbally and nonverbally in the midst of crisis
– and much more.”
You can find out more at thestayingpowerbook.com
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for married couples, whether they are currently experiencing crisis or not. Life gets tough for everyone. Difficult circumstances come in every life and every marriage. Staying Power, I pray, will be a great tool to help marriages endure and thrive.
If you preorder before the release on 3/31/20, there are some great bonuses!
(I do not receive any compensation for recommending Staying Power. I will receive 5 complimentary copies as a thank-you for my contribution to the book. Maybe there will be a give-away!)